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The Daily Brief: China breaks currency barrier by introducing digital yuan

Speculation that the new digital currency poses a threat to the hegemony of the U.S. dollar

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China breaks currency barrier by introducing digital yuan

Summary:

  • China has introduced the world’s first digital currency, based on computer code.
  • The new currency, the digital yuan, will be issued and monitored by the China central bank.
  • The digital yuan may give the Chinese government greater access to tracking both spenders and expenditures.
  • Unlike credit cards and payment apps, which move money electronically, the digital yuan itself is legal tender.
  • International market exchanges are currently based on the U.S. dollar.
  • The digital yuan is just one byproduct of cryptocurrency expansion, which includes bitcoin.
  • Thailand and Japan are also exploring entrance into the digital currency market. 

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Jordan Bans Publication of Royal Feud

  • The country of Jordan has placed a ban on publication of reports having to do with Prince Hamza, the step sibling of King Abdullah. 
  • The ban includes “all audiovisual media and social networks,” as reported by prosecutor general Hasan al-Abdallat, “as well as the publication of all images or video clips relating to this subject on pain of legal action.”
  • The ban comes after Prince Hamza’s alleged anti-government claims against his sibling, forcing the military to place him on house arrest and run investigations on his statements which posed  “security and stability” threats. He has since taken back previous statements and pledged his obedience to the King. 

North Korea: First Major Country to Skip the 2021 Olympics

  • With the ongoing global pandemic, North Korea has announced its plan to opt out of the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, being the second time since that the country will not attend. 
  • North Korea continues to pledge that they haven’t seen a singular coronavirus case or death within their country, as a North Korean Professor Park Won Gon stated it was “unlikely the North would change its mind about the Games, given the low probability that it can secure enough vaccine to inoculate its population of 26 million by the time the events begin.”
  • Japan continues to push through with their decision of hosting the Olympics on July 23rd, guaranteeing their undertaking of preventative measures to limit spread of the disease. 

Astra-Zeneca Vaccine Approval for Children paused for safety review

  • A trial of the Oxford-Zeneca vaccine on children has paused, awaiting further information in response to rare cases of thrombosis/blood clotting that emerged among adults who received the dose.
  • The pediatric clinical trial, consisting of approximately 300 volunteers, itself did not present major safety concerns as it seeks to evaluate the immunogenicity of the Oxford-Zeneca vaccine in children aged between 6 and 17.
  • The halting of the trial follows concerns personally voiced by a European Medicines Agency official, stating a possible link between the dose and rare blood clots.
  • Health officials still maintain the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has encouraged U.K. residents to obtain the shot whenever possible

International Monetary Fund forecasts strong economic recovery

  • The International Monetary Fund has projected strong economic recoveries globally, as vaccine distributions bring closer end to pandemic.
  • The organization predicts an estimated 5.1% growth for advanced economies, and 6.7% for developing economies in 2021.
  • IMF’s chief economist Gita Gopinath advises vaccine rollouts are key to gaining economic recovery, while also highlighting the growing concerns of unequal distribution and access to vaccinations globally.

Russia’s Arctic Military Build-Up And “Super Weapon” Testing Raise Global Concerns

  • Satellite images reveal massive military build-up by Russia in the Arctic, as the Kremlin attempts to assert dominance in the region.
  • Melting ice in the Arctic may allow for future transit options across the frozen tundra, making the area a strategic corridor between the Indo-Pacific, Europe, and US.
  • Both Russia and the US have expressed their interest in the region, with Pentagon press secretary John F. Kirby claiming that the US Department of Defense is “monitoring [the Arctic] very closely” and is committed to protecting “U.S. national security interests in the Arctic by upholding a rules-based order in the region”.
  • Western officials and weapon experts are particularly concerned over reports of Russia’s Poseidon 2M39 torpedo, a “super-weapon” intended to operate unmanned on the sea floor with the capability of creating radioactive waves so powerful that target coastlines would be rendered uninhabitable for decades.

Nuclear Talks And Vessel Attacks Complicate US, Iran, and Israel Relations

  • Israel and Iran have repeatedly accused each other of attacking one another’s sea vessels since attacks on both country’s ships began in late February.
  • The series of attacks began around the same time US President Joe Biden announced his intent to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal, a move which Israel does not support.
  • A report on Tuesday detailed a recent attack on an Iranian vessel by limpet mines in the Red Sea; Iran did not immediately respond to the news, however earlier in the day, before the incident was reported, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that “Israel must continue to fend off Iranian belligerence” and “take action in the face of the fanatical regime in Iran, which simply threatens to wipe [Israel] off the face of the Earth.”
  • Iran and the US began indirect nuclear talks in Vienna today which an EU diplomat considered to be “constructive”.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

Crime

Six People Killed in Shooting at Independence Day Parade

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800px 4th of July Independence Day Parade 2014 DC 14466342590
  • Six people were shot dead at an Independence Day parade near Chicago, Illinois. The gunman is still unknown and actively being searched for.
  • The gunman, who is being described as a white man near the age of 20, started shooting at random with a high powered rifle from a rooftop. The parade, which should have included hours of activities and entertainment, quickly ended and crowds were dispersed.
  • Those living in nearby suburbs or areas where the suspect might have gone have been told to shelter in place.
  • July 4th marks the colonies gaining independence in 1776 from Great Britain and the formation of the United States of America.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Crime

Eight Gang Members Arrested and In Possession of Underwater Drones

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800px Drug trafficking Caribean Sea
  • Spanish police arrested eight gang members that had unmanned underwater drones, six aerial drones, as well as other illegal substances in their possession.
  • The police said the drones could be used for illegal purposes, specifically “to be delivered to French narco-traffickers to be used to transport significant quantities of cocaine.”
  • One of the underwater vehicles was completely built, and two more were still being completed. The drones could potentially be controlled from anywhere in the world.
  • More than a year long investigation was carried out with the help of the French police to investigate the gang and arrest members in Cadiz, Malaga, and Barcelona.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

Three People Killed in Copenhagen Mall Shooting

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800px Fisketorvet Copenhagen Mall Interior 15915770832
  • Three people were killed at a mall in Copenhagen, Denmark after a gunman started randomly shooting with a rifle.
  • The suspect is a 22-year old Danish man with a mental health condition and “known among psychiatric services,” according to Copenhagen police chief Soren Thomassen.
  • Two Danish teenagers were killed, one boy and one girl, and a 47-year old Russian citizen. Four other people are in critical condition from the shooting.
  • Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen spoke about the incident, stating, “Our beautiful and usually so safe capital was changed in a split second.”

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

Argentina’s Economy Minister Quits

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Martin Guzman
  • Argentina’s economy minister, Martin Guzmán, resigned from his post after a week of economic crisis in a 7 page letter published on Twitter.
  • Guzmán initiated office in 2019 taking lead in restructuring Argentina’s debt.
  • In addition to the global rise of food and energy costs, Argentina is battling with 60% inflation.
  • In his letter of resignation, Guzmán calls for a “political agreement within the governing coalition.”
  • Many speculate his statement was in reference to his deputy – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – whom he was openly at odds with when approaching the country’s economic problems.
  • Prior to the resignation, Fernández took to criticizing economic policy starting with Guzmán’s inflation strategy.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

3 Hezbollah Drones Shot down by Israel

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Levant Basin
  • The Israeli military says one drone was shot down by an F16 fighter jet and the other two by Barak 8 missiles via ship.
  • The drones were unarmed.
  • In an official statement Hezbollah confirms ownership of the drones which were heading for the Karish gas field in disputed territory off the Mediterranean coast of Israel.
  • Israel previously announced plans to extract gas from the offshore rig, eliciting threats from Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah.
  • The disputed territory amplified tensions between Israel and Lebanon.
  • Benny Gantz, Israeli Defense Minister, accuses Hezbollah of barring Lebanon from cooperating with Israel concerning maritime borders.
  • This incident evoked support for Hezbollah, many taking to social media platforms to express gratitude for the militant group’s brazen confrontation against Israel’s platform in the Mediterranean. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

Russian Forces Finally Abandon Snake Island as a Gesture of Goodwill

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Battle of Snake Island 2022
  • Russian forces have officially abandoned Snake or Zmiinyi Island as a gesture of goodwill in order to prove that it was not obstructing grain exports. But this claim was instantly dismissed by Ukraine once Moscow continued to shell its grain stores. 
  • Snake Island was seized by Russians on February 24; the island, which is just 22 miles away from Ukraine, is exposed to attacks from all directions, including air and sea. Once Russia seized it, Ukraine attacked the island itself and any vessels carrying troops or heavy weaponry. 
  • Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov states that controlling this island and stationing troops doesn’t make sense for either side and the island is an easy target. He argued that maintaining “fire control,”.which is having the capability to strike any target approaching the island, is a better advantage for either side. 
  • The key question is whether the Ukrainians will consider  exporting grain to reboot the war economy. However, the Russian warships still gain dominance over the Black Sea, and although they are offering Ukraine to export grains from Odessa, Ukraine rejected it due to it having to remove mines from outside the port. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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